A Validation Study of the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale With Urban Hispanic and African American Preschool Children
Early Childhood Education
The development of culturally and linguistically appropriate measurement is necessary to enable accurate assessment of preschool children’s interpersonal competence and behavioral difficulties. This need is most pressing for children from Hispanic backgrounds, who currently represent the fastest growing population of U.S. children. The present study investigated the psychometric properties of a Spanish and English version of the Penn Interactive Peer Play Scale (PIPPS; Fantuzzo et al., 1995) when employed with Spanish- and English-speaking teachers and students in an urban, Southeastern community. Psychometrically sound structures were obtained with the Spanish translation of the PIPPS in support of the three original dimensions named Play Interaction, Play Disruption, and Play Disconnection, which were derived from studies of African American preschool children in lower income, Northeastern communities. Concurrent validity was supported by significant correlationsbetween the three Spanish PIPPS constructs and teacher ratings of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. Significant group differences in class-room peer play interactions were also detected for children’s gender and ethnicity. The independent emergence of comparable Spanish and English PIPPS factor structures across two distinct regional samples provides initial support for use of this measure in research with Hispanic preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Implications for school psychologists engaging in outreach to preschool programs servicing diverse groups of children are discussed, including the generalizability of interactive peer play constructs for preschool children across racial, ethnic, linguistic, and geographic back-grounds.